I did the unthinkable. Then I spent a couple of months thinking that I must have lost my mind.
25 February 2021
Some of you may remember I finished my third novel – provisionally called Other People’s Lies back then – last year. Roundfire Books (who published my first two novels) offered me a contract for it, which I was obviously over the moon about… but.
The book wasn’t sitting right with me. Niggles. Endless, irritating niggles in my mind that wouldn’t go away.
It was good, it had elements I was happy with. I’d had an offer from a publisher, I should have been over the moon. More than that, I should have been done with it, ready to move on to write the next novel.
I couldn’t get rid of the feeling that it wasn’t the book it was supposed to be. Some of the character arcs felt wrong, like there was unfinished business with them I’d never be able to resolve if I left it in its current form.
So I did the unthinkable.
I thanked my publisher for the offer and turned it down so I could rewrite the entire novel.
Then I promptly spent a couple of months feeling that I must have LOST MY MIND. You don’t turn down publishing offers.
Once I’d let my strange decision sit for a while, I tore my manuscript apart, dumped more than half of it and rewrote it. Despite being scared I’d made a terrible mistake, it was the right thing to do. The end result is a novel I am HUGELY proud of.
It’s been through a number more redrafts, I’ve had it proofed and edited and I’m now about to start querying it.
I’m nervous, I still have days where I think I was insane to do it, but as I say, I’m incredibly proud of this novel, so I can’t regret it. It’s now the book it was always supposed to be and I hope people love it as much as I do.
I’m not sure what the point of this blog article is. Be brave? Trust yourself? I don’t know, take from it what you will.
Goodreads Choice Awards nominee, Best Debut Author, Bestselling JHP Fiction title 2016
Can Louise move on from the loss of her lover Tom? Can she and Tom's twin brother Adam really find a way to love one another? Or are they trapped on a path of self-destruction, moving towards a tragedy neither can avoid?
Finalist, The People's Book Prize for Fiction, Longlisted The Guardian's Not The Booker Prize, 2018.
After witnessing a fatal car accident, a homeless man wanders the streets of Brighton, trying to ignore the new, incessant voice inside his head. Is Dan ill or has he really been possessed? Finding the dead man's wife is the only way he'll know for sure.